As our festival season kicks off with a bang, Fritz caught up with Adelaide’s Cellar Door Fest food ambassador and MasterChef Australia 2015 alumni Jessie Spiby to chat about her festival party Food, Booze + Dancing Shoes. After a successful debut at last year’s Tasting Australia, Jessie decided to move the action to Cellar Door Fest 2018 (2 to 4 March at the Convention Centre) and is thrilled her collaborative South Australian event has found a new home.
“It was sort of an accidental collaboration. I was already doing the food ambassador role and we were just having a chat about Food, Booze + Dancing Shoes and they were like, ‘Let’s do that for an after party’,” Jessie says.
“The idea is that you’re going to a gig on a Sunday in a winery, but we’re doing it in the city on a Friday night.” Don’t worry if you’re stressing about pulling shapes – the dancing part is not mandatory.
“Dancing is optional – I think people think it’s going to be a massive rave but it’s more of a sit back, ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ culinary experience. Eat and drink what you want, chill with friends – think fairy lights, Persian rugs, and crates.”
The event will see a cohort of South Australian producers team up, including Mismatch Brewing Co., Adelaide Hills Distillery, Alpha Box & Dice and The Porch Sessions. Think tasty beer, wine, cocktails and mouth-watering nibbles, all set to a cracking live music soundtrack. It’s got all the makings of an ultimate post-work shindig.
“There’ll be some really good drinks – the guys from Adelaide Hills Distillery are going to collaborate with Alpha Box & Dice to create some interesting spritzy cocktails with rosé and Prosecco, and Sunlight Liquor will be there doing mead, which I think will be a really cool difference.”
The tunes are a vital component, too. Jessie is thrilled that The Porch Sessions organiser Sharni Honor is on board. “Sharni just brings this incredible positive energy to anything she does.” Local folk musos Tim Moore and Delia Obst will perform, with the seventies synth-pop sounds of Adelaide band Neon Tetra as headliners.
Jessie’s contribution comes in the form of some SA-inspired regional eats. “I’m doing a couple of different grazing platters with regionally focused ingredients. I think there will definitely be a Fleurieu one because I’m a bit of a loyalist – and a lot of the groups are from the Fleurieu. There will also be a Hills platter, as well as my own homemade dips and spices. It’s going to be great.”
Although Jessie will be busy with her Friday night event, she’s looking forward to (literally) digging into the tastes and experiences of the festival, as both punter and ambassador.
“The thing I think is really great about Cellar Door Fest is that every region has its own flavours and different tastes – and by having the food with the booze that’s from those regions, you get a really good snapshot into what they have to offer. It’s a pretty unique festival in that sense.”
The year’s Cellar Door Fest is bigger than ever, with the 2018 event boasting over 180 local wine, beer, spirits and food producers. It’s important to note that it’s not just about the wine – the love also spreads to include a Beer Garden and Distillery District. If you’re a cheese lover (who isn’t?) you’re in for a treat, with DIY workshops and master classes.
“I think the master classes are really cool,” Jessie says. “I like that they are teaching people how to blend gin, cheese-making and pasta – it’s all wholesome, back-to-basics classes. The long table lunches look really good as well!”
Food, Booze + Dancing Shoes
Friday 2 March, 8pm to Midnight. Adelaide Convention Centre, City. Ticket: $60 (includes entry into Festival and Food, Booze + Dancing Shoes)
Cellar Door Fest
Friday 2 March 5pm – 9pm, Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 March 11am – 6pm. Adelaide Convention Centre, City. Tickets: Friday $28 ($30 at door), Saturday/Sunday $38 ($40 at door)
Sponsored by Cellar Door Fest.
Want more Jessie? Catch her making South Australian inspired pizzas at Foodland Thebarton here.